Background: Patient treatment adherence is dependent on out of pocket expenditure which can lead to delay in seeking hospital care. The study was conducted to assess out of pocket healthcare expenditure among patients attending secondary healthcare facility in Himachal Pradesh. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted at rural health training centre Shahpur attached to department of community medicine, Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College Tanda from July 2015 through August 2015. A total of 400 patients attending OPD and IPD were selected and interviewed after obtaining informed consent and approval from Institutional Ethics Committee. A structured questionnaire containing demographic variables including age, sex, place, income, morbidity and out of pocket health care expenditure incurred was administered to all patients attending OPD and IPD . Data obtained was analysed using SPSS software version 21. Results: 400 participants were interviewed. Maximum out of pocket expenditure was incurred on medication with mean of 311.65±477.38 rupees. Mean expenditure on transport was 155.31±271.87 rupees. Stay while in the hospital had minimum expenditure. Expenditure on food, diagnostics, transportation was significantly more among females as compared to males. OOPE was more among OPD patients and those having less monthly income ie between 5000 to 20,000 rupees. Conclusion: Out of pocket expenditure is on rise due to increase in life expectancy and the demographic change of aged population along with chronic diseases.
Keywords: Out of pocket expenditure, rural health training centre, himachal Pradesh